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Gothic Fiction and the Uncanny in Photography

Gothic Fiction and the Uncanny in Photography

The goal of this elective was to create a project dealing with the period of romanticism and how its ideas apply to today's world.


I chose Gothic fiction as my specific topic for this project because I've always liked reading it and I think it's interesting how topics that were relevant 200 years ago still fascinate and resonate with people to this day. These topics include: a past that catches up to you, political changes, scientific discoveries that you don't quite understand yet, the supernatural, but also the discontent of women with their role in patriarchy, etc.

Another key element in Gothic literature, besides these topics, is the element of the uncanny. The uncanny describes everything that seems frightening, but oddly familiar, or familiar, but somehow frightening. Characters can seem human, but inhuman at the same time, German psychiatrist Ernst Jentsch described the uncanny as a „product of intellectual uncertainty“.

Famous examples of the uncanny include vampires, ghosts, Frankenstein's monster, and the picture of Dorian Grey.

Since the topics talked about in Gothic fiction are still relevant today, I asked myself: what would the uncanny look like nowadays?
And that's what I wanted to find out in my experimental photography project.

First round of experiments

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Before I started taking pictures, I researched what filmmakers and photographers about a hundred years ago did to bring uncanny characters to life and in the end it boiled down to double exposure and play with light and shadow, so that's what I tried to incorporate into my own project


Second round of experiments

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Final photos





Ein Projekt von


Integriertes Design

Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im zweiten Studienabschnitt


foto: Klaus Pollmeier

Zugehöriger Workspace

WM Fotografie 2023


Sommersemester 2023